Lockhart announces GOP primary challenge against Matheny in state House District 47

Lockhart announces GOP primary challenge against Matheny in state House District 47

March 15th, 2016 by Andy Sher in Local Regional News

Judd Matheny

Judd Matheny

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE - Republican William Lockhart announced today he is running in the state House District 47 GOP primary where he will face incumbent Rep. Judd Matheny, R-Tullhoma.

An attorney from Tullahoma, Lockhart said in a statement that while there are many issues nationally "that require immediate attention," here in Tennessee "the same holds true for the 47th District.

"We have numerous issues of local and statewide importance, and the constituents of this district deserve strong, principled leadership to see those issues handled in a way that moves this district forward," Lockhart added in his statement.

"Too many of our politicians are simply concerned with the next sound bite that will get them coverage on the news instead of focusing on the issues that really matter to the people of this district — education, infrastructure, a strong local economy, job creation, and criminal justice reform," Lockhart said. "These issues demand serious consideration, and that is why I'm announcing my candidacy for State Representative."

He said "I understand this community needs a positive voice at the Capitol and the Republican Party needs a conservative who can get things done. The time for strong leadership is now."

Matheny was first elected in 2002 as a representative in the General Assembly. He and has been involved in any number of issues, including expanding areas where handgun carry permit holders can go armed.

After Matheny was elected House speaker pro tempore, the former law enforcement officer, drew national attention in 2011 with a bill that called Shariah law a danger to homeland security. It sought to give the Tennessee attorney general authority to investigate complaints. The bill exempted peaceful practice of Islam.

Matheny later weighed a challenge to Republican House speaker in 2012 GOP Caucus elections. But he opted not to challenge her. Instead, he ran again for speaker pro tem.  Matheny himself, however, was challenged for the post by Rep. Curtis Johnson, R-Clarksville, with Johnson winning.

The district includes Coffee County and part of Warren County.